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Cardinals vs. Chargers game preview: History, stats and connections

Here is the fact sheet between the two teams.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

You know by now the Arizona Cardinals are hosting the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football as the nightcap of their Week 1 doubleheader. Here are some facts for the game -- statistics, history and connections.


This game marks the first time in Arizona Cardinals team history that they will open the season against the team they played to close out the preseason. Arizona lost its preseason finale in San Diego 12-9. San Diego has had the experience of playing a team under this scenario, but the last time to happen was 1961.

The two teams have not played a lot in the regular season. San Diego holds a 9-3 series lead and a 3-2 lead while playing on the Cardinals' home field.

They last met in the regular season in 2010. The Chargers demolished the Derek Anderson-led Cardinals, defeating them 41-7.


This should be a very fun matchup.

Last season, Arizona had the league's number one rush defense. The defense was sixth in the NFL in yards allowed and seventh in points allowed.

San Diego was 12th in points scored and were fifth in yards gained.

Arizona struggled early but rebounded offensively, averaging 26 points per game over the final half of the season. They ended up 16th in points scored and 12th in yards, while San Diego was 11th in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed.

San Diego was a ball control team. They led the NFL in time of possession, at nearly 33 minutes per game. Arizona was eighth with an average time of possession of 30:51.

Carson Palmer has been very successful statistically against the Chargers. In six games, he has his second-highest QB rating against any team at over 116. He has thrown for 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions and over 2000 yards. The down side is he is only 2-4 against the Chargers in terms of wins and losses.

San Diego's starting quarterback Philip Rivers has only played the Cardinals once. It was in 2010, when he threw for 472 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. It was a 41-7 win over the Cardinals.


The Arizona Cardinals have two former Chargers on their team.

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, whom the Cardinals signed this past offseason, was drafted by the Chargers in 2006 and played through 2009 there. He had 15 interceptions as a Charger, including 10 in 2007, when he was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler.

The Cardinals also have linebacker Thomas Keiser, whom they claimed off waivers after final cuts just over a week ago. He played for the Chargers in 2013, logging 20 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross played for San Diego in 1996 and was on the coaching staff in 2007 and 2008.

San Diego has quite a few former Cardinals.

Linebacker Reggie Walker made the Cards as an undrafted rookie and played for them from 2009-2012. He had 38 special teams tackles in four years.

Cornerback Richard Marshall played one season for Arizona in 2011. He was considered one of the most valuable defensive players on the team by defensive coordinator Ray Horton. He had three interceptions that season.

Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger played for the Cardinals in 2012 as a backup, who also started four games because of injuries to the starters on the line.

Kicker Nick Novak was with the Cardinals briefly in 2005. He was there for five games and hit all three of his field goal attempts.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich was the Cardinals' WRs coach in 2012 and special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer held the same position for the Cardinals from 2007-2012.